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razor02097 02-15-2013 09:25 AM

Project Avalon: E-bike build
4 Attachment(s)
So why am I building an ebike instead of buying one?

I checked around to see what options the OEM offers. Well looking around at options I found that there are many... expensive options... There seemed to be a large price gap. Currie enterprises offers a 24v 500W bike in the $600 range. After researching in to it I found many people say it's pretty slow and anemic. I checked one out in person which I found the SLA packs are pretty heavy which makes the bike bulky. I kept searching around and found some pretty nice bikes but they were $1500 on up to $3500! I decided I am going to build one instead.

My goals is a full suspension 26" bike with front and rear brakes capable of going 50+ miles on a charge and capable of ascending large hills... Pretty tall order. I found that I will need at least a 1000w kit.

Searching at several stores and reading reviews of several bikes I ended up choosing a NEXT Avalon as a base for my project. Here is a photo (mine is black). It was $127 after tax from Walmart

Next is to find some power. After reading a few reviews I decided to give a wuxing kit a shot. The kit was $328.20 after shipping from Amazon

Battery decision is pending... Bad experience with vendor... DO NOT BUY FROM VELO VERDE!

To mount it to the bike I'm going to use a voyager seat post rack $22.29 after tax and shipping from Amazon.

Well.... I hope this project goes smooth. I have a budget of $1,500... so far I am a little over $1,400 which leaves about $100 to buy flashy lights, helmet, bike lock, bags and other goodies. :thumbup:

MTXA 02-15-2013 10:25 AM

What a fun project! What kind of range do you expect?

I'd like to do one myself but an upcoming home remodeling project is absorbing my cash reserves. There's a like new Giant Twist being sold locally for $750. I'm tempted, but the war dept. (AKA my wife) would pop a gasket if I dipped into the remodeling money. When/if I build my own, I would use a Workman Cycles bike for the base. They're industrial bikes, made in the USA since 1898, and almost bombproof. Pretty affordable to boot. Industrial Bicycles and Industrial Tricycles from Worksman Cycles Factory Direct Store

Keep us posted on the build.

razor02097 02-15-2013 11:13 AM

Range... well I know it's ambitious especially without regen or solar. I am hoping for 50+ miles on a charge with pedal assist.

In theory 1000W means the motor would draw 20.8 amps... which if I have a 21aH battery I should get 1 hour of full power. I did install this kit on a bike with SLA batteries so I know this kit will propel me at least 30mph on a flat surface, 20mph up a grade and 6mph up a steep hill with no assist. 90% of the places I would travel would be flat. 1% is steep so 28.66 miles at full power without assist (in theory). This doesn't count any down hill...

Ryland 02-15-2013 03:39 PM

I have a Ping brand lithium battery that a friend bought about 4 years ago that has been holding up really well and everyone that I've heard of who has used them has liked them, it also has a BMS built in to the pack.
48 Volt LiFePO4 Battery Packs with BMS (Battery Management System)

going with a 48V system is a good idea, I have a crystalite motor and ran it at 33v and it worked ok, but it's designed to work up to 72v with the correct controller, I kind of wish I had spent extra on a higher voltage controller but I didn't, 48v tho should give you plenty of speed and is a common voltage for everything else.

the $1,500 price range is why I choose that price point for my electric motorcycle, people are willing to spend that much on an electric bicycle, so why not a motorcycle?

On my E-bike, I found that I was drawing around 300 to 400 watts on flat to go 20mph without pedaling, or about 20 watt hours per mile, I'm 250lb's and had a lower voltage pack so I had a bit more line loss then you should see, but 15-20 watt hours per mile at 20mph seems pretty common and with your battery that would give you ~50 miles.

razor02097 02-17-2013 06:35 PM

There 2 very good reasons I chose an E-bike over a E-motorcycle.

#1 I don't have to insure or pay registration for my E-bike
#2 I already own a motorcycle that gets 60+ MPG.

Get ready... this is going to be a massive post.

Installing the wheel I noted the retaining wheel washer wouldn't work for my application so one was made from a large washer. The washer bolts to the spline and bolts to the fork.

The rack came in. It was smaller than I thought but it is super light weight!

Installed.... the controller is just sitting on it for now.

A schwinn bike computer was installed on the right side so I can access functions without taking my hand off the grip.

The throttle went on the left side grip so it is accessible all the time.

A sunlight double kickstand was installed. Neat thing is the bike came with an axle kick stand so I can leave both on there :)

Installed a metroflash Danger zone light on the rear of the rack. A little modding had to be done to get it to mount the way I wanted it.

Got to keep the tire pressures in check so....

Here is a picture of the tires that came with the bike.

Also have a kill a watt to monitor energy consumption during charging.

Other things I've added include a forward light and more comfortable seat. Here it sits now... in my bedroom lol

Battery should be in Wednesday. The battery is a little smaller in size than the 20ah ping battery and will include a 2A charger as well. It also has a BMS built in the pack. I'll get some pictures once I get it in. I have a bag I found that will fit the rack that should be in tomorrow or tuesday.

I weighed the entire bike. Without the battery, helmet or bike lock the bike weighs 53.4lbs

razor02097 02-20-2013 07:24 AM

The bags are in and installed!

Trunk bag will hold battery, kill a watt, charger, extra tube, tools and a water bottle...

front bag will hold the bike lock and any cargo I need to take with me. It is detachable with 2 snaps.

The controller was also mounted. I wanted to mount it out of the way and outside so it can keep cool.

The battery should be in on Friday.

baldlobo 02-21-2013 10:37 PM

you might need a torque arm for your front hub motor; hub motor's have a tendancy to ruin front forks

razor02097 02-22-2013 02:41 PM


Originally Posted by baldlobo (Post 357626)
you might need a torque arm for your front hub motor; hub motor's have a tendancy to ruin front forks

Interesting...I've never seen that until I specifically searched for it. I might take a shot at making one.

razor02097 02-25-2013 09:56 AM


Originally Posted by razor02097 (Post 357299)
The battery should be in on Friday.

Due to a few icicles hanging off of their tail pipes for 2 hours in the morning FedEx decided not to bother trying to deliver anything that day. As in zero deliveries from that location. They pushed it off until today. They have officially had the package since the 14th of February. eff you FedEx... :mad:

razor02097 03-01-2013 02:21 PM

Well all I can say is please for the love of Christ do not buy from Ross Randrup (Velo Verde).

I ordered my battery and what I received... well you decide.

The battery came in a E bike kit box.... packaging included pieces of broken up Styrofoam, bubble wrap and blue painters tape... No original boxes, no instructions, no original packaging.

The battery itself had scuffs on the side and bottom. The only sticker on it had adhesive residue all around it.

The battery was taped up with black tape to hide where the shrink wrap split. There were several scuffs on the side and bottom.

There was no OEM sticker on it, nothing to tell me brand, age, or any other information. All it had was homemade labels...

The connector contacts looked heavily used. There is pitting, burn marks and scuffing from plugging and unplugging a load. It is not evident of one single test but prolonged use.

The charger I received also had wear and no original packaging.

When I emailed the guy he told me the batteries were "tested" on ebikes prior to sale...I have an issue with this... new should mean not used. It is one thing to test the battery under load. I do that at my job. It is another thing to install the new battery on an ebike and use it until you deem testing done. How do I know how much "testing" was done? How do I know how old this battery is? He also admits to removing the original stickers and taping over the packaging splits. He said the scuffs were because he buys batteries in bulk and the adhesive residue is because it's a Chinese sticker.

I was told I had to return the battery at my own expense. Shipping would not be paid for. I believe I am a victim of bait and switch. Do not buy from this guy. I have been fighting this all week and ended up disputing the charge on my card.

I was stupid and should have just purchased a Ping battery... Obviously project BEV has ground to a halt until I can get everything sorted out. Hope this information helps someone out.

razor02097 03-07-2013 07:57 PM

Time for an update...

I went ahead and ordered a torque arm kit. I decided to mount it a little differently though...

Here are the other parts that came with the universal kit.

razor02097 03-20-2013 07:41 AM

Last night I made a spark arrest adapter.

Here is the circuit.
  1. How it works is
  2. remove the key
  3. connect the battery
  4. flip the switch to charge up the controller
  5. Insert the key to provide full power

Total cost was about $10

razor02097 03-21-2013 03:24 PM

I am also adding a Watts up meter to the dash. I am going to use a 3 wire set up since I am hooking it up as a remote meter. I have it zip tied in to place temporarily to see how it will look. I will use some double stick to mount it on the bracket.

Here is the bracket. It's actually a reflector bracket I took off when I put on the rear safety light.

More to come once it's hooked up.

razor02097 03-21-2013 10:38 PM

The watts up is mounted and wired in.

Also picked up a mirror

razor02097 03-22-2013 12:25 PM

Since I'm still waiting on the seller to either make right or send a shipping label for the used battery that was sold to me as new I am making a NiMH battery to get Avalon going.

The batteries are D cell NiMH 10aH batteries.

There are 2 bricks of 20 batteries all wired in series to make a 48V battery pack.

The dividers are made from heavy plastic. The outside is just going to be tape. The battery is 48V 10aH and weighs 13.6 lbs.

razor02097 03-22-2013 12:56 PM

First voyage out the battery lasted 11.1 miles with pedaling. The kill-a-watt says the charger and battery took .35KWH according to my math that is 31.5 watts per mile. I have no idea if that is good. I didn't have the watts up meter for the maiden voyage so next time should be interesting.

I figure if I had to buy an equivalent amount of fuel to go 11.1 miles with a gallon of gasoline at $3.699 and a KWH at $0.062...(Duke charges 6.2 cents per KWH over 1000 KWH...)
(.35KWH X $0.062KWH) = $0.0217 is the amount to charge battery...
($0.0217 kwh / $3.699 gal) = 0.006 gal amount of fuel I could buy with $0.0455
(11.1 miles / 0.006 gal) = 1850 MPGe

I know NiMH batteries need a period of time and cycles to run in... so range should improve. I think my 50 mile range is a pipe dream with what I have. I would have to pedal more than half of the distance with a 20Ah battery.

That said it is sufficient for running a few errands... I rode around for a little over an hour... plus I did use assist almost the whole time. The top speed on flat ground is 26 MPH throttle pegged.

meelis11 04-22-2013 04:37 AM

Is that Nimh pack temporary while waiting some other pack or you will stay with it?
How much it cost to make NIMH pack?

For me best thing seems to buy RC LIPO batteries from hobbyking - you can get 22V 5000mAh LIPOs around 50$ - to make 10Ah battery it costs around 200$ (need 4 of them)

razor02097 04-22-2013 06:59 AM

Cost was about $300 which includes the charger and connectors. I am still fighting with the scammer that sold me a used battery as new so it is semi permanent.

meelis11 04-22-2013 08:33 AM

Quite expensive semi-permanent solution you have.

razor02097 04-22-2013 01:26 PM

There is no cheap solution if you go with a 48V system.

jjackstone 04-24-2013 12:01 PM


First voyage out the battery lasted 11.1 miles with pedaling. The kill-a-watt says the charger and battery took .35KWH according to my math that is 31.5 watts per mile.
I have a few thoughts and questions that may help.

First off, what speed are you riding at or attempting to average?
Over 20 mph will suck the batteries down fast. I had a purposely small pack(150WH) and used to cruise at around 18mph. That was good for 5 miles with no pedalling. If I rode in the upper 20's I would only get about a mile and a quarter.
With about 50/50 pedalling I easily travelled 11 to 12 miles on a full charge.

When accelerating from a stop, always use pedal only either until you reach the speed you want or just can't go any faster on your own power, then start using the motor. Just like in a car it takes a lot more energy to get that mass up to speed than to maintain the speed.

Put a wheel cover on the rear wheel for better aero.

Consider a small front fairing that you could crouch behind. Again, better aero.

Hope this helps.


jjackstone 04-24-2013 12:02 PM

Additional thought. Get rid of those tires and put some smooth ones on. They look as though they will kill your mileage. Unless you plan on some off roading.

razor02097 04-24-2013 12:13 PM

On the road to get to the sidewalk I travel at top speed which is about 25MPH with bursts of furious pedaling to get up to 30MPH. The road is a 2 lane 35MPH road which has no shoulder and some blind corners. I hope cars flying up behind me will be able to react appropriately if I am traveling close to their speed.

According to the watts up meter I use 1.3 amps each way to get to the sidewalk. So far I can squeeze about 8 amps from the pack before the speed controller refuses to send power to the motor.

I did swap tires to ones that hold higher pressure and are a smoother tread. There is a little dirt so I don't want completely smooth tires.

On a side note this NiMH battery pack weighs 13 lbs. If I decide to upgrade my battery I can always make a 12V 40AH battery that would weigh the same. I could stick a small inverter on it and have a portable 110V power station.

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